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Entries in home (2)


knock it off

After months of deliberation, we recently took the plunge and knocked out our first floor bedroom wall. We'd been using it as a dining room/office since we moved in and despite trepidation of how this would affect resale value, etc, we eventually decided that our home has to work for us, not for future buyers or for that hypothetical sale price. (It didn't hurt that I researched comps, and the two-bedrooms and three-bedrooms in our development sold for vitually the same price.) Determining exactly how to make that happen was another story, and then finding the right people to do it took some time, but et voila, it has been done.

It was a hard decision to make because here we were, tearing down a portion of a brand-new build (I think my husband found this particularly painful). For someone like me, who can hem and haw for over a year on a rug, who has no visualization skills whatsoever, it was nail-biting (if I were a nail biter). For days leading up to the demolition, I continually asked myself if this was the right thing to do, how would I feel if it wasn't, but then what would it be like if I chickened out and didn't go through with it... A person who leads with her gut, I most certainly am not. (My gut suffers from anxiety and probably needs a Xanax. And it hates all the pressure put on it to magically be right. It gave me its two-week notice when I was eleven.)

Now I'm thrilled with it. The amount of light in the house has increased significantly--and isn't there just something wonderful about an abundance of sunlight and hardwood floors? Everything feels airier and roomier, lighter. The room feels like it was meant to be this way from the very beginning. I love it.

In the three-day stretch of beautiful weather we've had in Nashville, I've been bit once more by the decorating bug. With the wall gone, it's become clear that some things have to move or be rid of entirely; I have so many ideas swirling around and whip out my tape measure constantly.

The beautiful thing is that, with each project I complete in the house, no matter how small or big, my confidence in making decisions and in my own style has boosted. Yes, I've made some mistakes, and there are things I know now that I wouldn't have done a year ago, but overall, this home ownership thing and the decorating that comes with it, has been a really positive learning experience. I still believe that a large part of "home" is that intangible thing shared with a partner that has nothing to do with a house, but that doesn't mean I derive any less joy from putting together the physical foundation that comforts, sustains, delights, and supports us. It's a wonderful feeling to have this trust in myself develop, to become increasingly less frazzled about committing to something, to knowing that I'm capable of making a space that is reflective of, and meant just for, my family.

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So...we bought a house! After spending the weekend moving, it's finally sinking in. Watson, fearless pup that he is, has taken to racing up and down the stairs like it's nuthin while the husband and I complain about our weak knees. It's been quite the move, and while it isn't over just yet, the kitchen is in order, and the end is in sight.

Now that the big obstacles are out of the way, I find myself marveling at how two very different people worked seamlessly as a team... Aside from the thrill of actually having this beautiful house, there were many moments throughout the weekend when I felt incredibly happy just working side by side with Michael. It was exhausting, it was painful, and it wasn't without injuries, but it was also so very satisfying to turn around and have my best friend right alongside me. We were each pulling our weight, doing some things separately and other things together, and appreciating the other's efforts. This weekend, I was really reminded of how amazing a partner my husband is, and how, house or no house (although we very much prefer house, please!), I am luckiest because I found him, my real home, long before we started making this concrete one together.

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